Six children are in a serious condition in France with E.coli infections after eating meat thought to have come from Germany, where an outbreak of the bacteria has killed 37 people.
The children had eaten beefburgers made by French company SEB which said the meat was taken from animals slaughtered in three European countries and processed in France.
“There’s meat from Germany, there’s meat from Belgium and from Holland,” said SEB chief executive Guy Lamorlette.
Six children, aged between 20 months and eight years old, were taken to a hospital in Lille, northern France on Wednesday and one child was later released.
A seventh child was taken to hospital on Thursday.
A spokesman for the Regional Health Agency (ARS) said: “They are in a serious but not worrying state. Their lives are not at all in danger.”
The “Steak Country” burgers were bought in French branches of German supermarket Lidl.
SEB has recalled the burgers and Lidl said it had removed boxes from its shelves in France.
The outbreak comes on the heels of E.coli cases linked to contaminated bean sprouts which has killed 36 people in Germany and one in Sweden and sickened 3,300 people in 16 countries.
However, health authorities said they had not found a link at present with the previous cases.